Mar 30, 2011
Blog Post 1
Hello and welcome to my blog. So nice to have you here. Come in, sit down, have a hot toddy, rest yourself the polar bear skin rug, and we'll regale old sea stories. Are you enjoying yourself yet?
I've thought about starting a blog at various points over the years, and for some reason, now is the time.
I joked years ago (with my very funny Chicago friend Jenny McClory) about starting a blog called It's About You. The joke being, that people seem to create blogs about themselves. And we would turn that on it's head.
Well I guess that gets to the heart of why I'm blogging now. As an artist, there's a lot to report and share both from the internet and the world. It thus became apparent to John Pick a blog might be a good place to share nuggets of goodness.
I've been struggling a bit lately with falling back in love with acting. A couple of situations have left me jaded and confused. I should know, by now, that when things like that happen, it's best to get back in the gym, to stay on top of the craft.
So today, I signed up for a Shakespeare class. What's better than to stay in love with acting than Shakespeare.
I have a couple of Shakespeare monologues that I love to perform. Young Clifford from King Henry VI, Part III and Trinculo from the Tempest. Trinculo is one that I partiuclarly love.
Trinculo, a drunkard, is lost on the island, where Prospero presides. A terrible storm, a tempest, has come again, and Trinculo "does not know where to lay his head." As the storm arrives again, he discoveres a "fish-like" creature (Caliban) underneath a gaberdine. His only choice is to crawl beneath and lay his head for the night, which he does. At the end of this monologue, the actor has the pleasure of reciting one of Shakespeare's famous lines. "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows."
I've been working with a lot of image work, and somewhere along the line, the image that I conjured up for the Trinculo's terror and fear and hope for shelter and safety was imagining that Trinculo has walked out, alone, on the platform where Barack Obama is to be inaugurated. It seems to be sunrise in Washington on January 20th, and the steps of the Capitol are empty, and the marble is white and cold and visible. The place will shortly be filled with throngs of revelers, all searching for the hope and change the man has promised. And this promise, if you really think about it, is so incredibly daunting. Thus the prospect of safety from the storm that Trinculo so desperately desires is dwarfed by the reality of the damage that the storm (or the Bush administration or simply the global craziness) has and will cause. The question of healing, of safety, of goodness, is one that Trinculo asks to the gathering storm and it is no wonder that his "best way is to creep under this gaberdine here." Looking up to this storm ("alas the storm" has come again), I imagine the face of Dick Cheney sitting in a dark thundercloud, ready to ruin the promise of Obama's morning.
This sort of substitition makes the whole thing real and true and visceral. It makes all the little moments specific.
Why am I writing about this? In any creative darkness, the answer is always to touch the sword to the stone, and this monologue is one that helps me get to the joy and purpose of acting. Dont'cha know?
Well thanks so much for reading and again soon.